Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sorry for the long pause...had to study for ACLS. Passed...so now can concentrate on the fun part of my life. Writing!

If you're following along, here's chpt 5
Maura stomped through the gangway, making her route toward the galley. Her pride still stung from Daniel’s careless barbs. So swathed was she in her anger over his treatment of her, that she failed to notice she was being followed.
Seconds before reaching the galley door, she was pulled into darkness. The shrill scraping sound of metal on metal, followed by the heavy echoed clang of the cabin’s slide bolt lock confirmed to her that there would be no escaping this nightmare.

Her breath stuck in her throat as she stood frozen against the wall just inside the door arch, daring not to make a move. She could not fit yet one more single breath of air into her lungs as each inhalation was shorter than the one before it. The pain from her breast bindings cut into her chest like a knife. She was beginning to feel faint from the lack of air and feared that she would lose consciousness.

After several endless agonizing seconds she heard the slow scrape of match stick striking carbon and then smelled the pungent odor of sulfur. The haunting glow of candlelight produced the sinister image of the quarter master, Kilern.
"Well now, lad, is it?” His whisper echoed throughout the sparsely furnished cabin. “I've been watchin' ya for over a week now and I've been noticin’ some things about ya.”

Maura’s chest continued to heave with each rapid shallow breath as she struggled to remain conscious, despite the growing numbness of her body.

“That's right. I've been lookin' at ya going through the mess line. I've seen many a scrawny lad, but you be a bit too feminine, shall I say? Wasn't exactly sure if I heard right, on the last day in port, when ya was talkin' to Godsey in the Cap’n’s archway. So I waited and observed ya for a while. But I feel I now know ya little secret, lass."

Maura's eyes grew wide as saucers and full of terror.

"Yes that's right lass, you've been found out. But I've told no one and don't plan to, unless that is, ya give me reason ta tell. Ya see I know our Cap'n. He can be a mean one, he can. One thing he can't abide is trickery and lyin'." Kilern was now just inches from Maura’s face. She could smell his brandied breath in her nostrils and she was almost going to be sick.
He reached up to cup her face with one grimy calloused hand and traced the outline of her cheek and chin with his rough thumb.
He then ran his finger the length of her neck to the first button of her flannel shirt. Her heart was pounding hard from fear.

"Am I wrong, then? Are ya a lass or a lad? I guess I'll have ta find out for myself, now, won't I?" In one fluid movement he ripped open her shirt to find the bindings that wrapped about her midsection. Paralyzed with fear Maura could not scream nor move.
"So this be how ya kept your identity secret. First I thought ya just a school girl, but now I can see you're more than that."
He ran his tongue across his dry cracked bottom lip, and then ran a shirtsleeve across his brow as he was sweating from the excitement of his find and what awaited his eyes beneath those bindings.
He took his blade and slowly, meticulously sliced away at the thin cloth from above her breast line to below her waist, being careful not to nick the skin.
Her chest was heaving at a painful rate. Terror gripped her mind, not knowing what he planned to do to her. Maura’s eyes shifted to the blade he held at eye level to assure her that he meant to do harm if not gotten his way. His muscular forearm pressed against her throat, holding her inplace against the cabin wall, while his free hand peeled away at the bindings.
"Oh, Lass, you're a beauty, ya are." His mouth went dry with excitement. He reached his large dry calloused hand inside the crumpled bands of cloth to cup her soft, firm breast. Maura let out a muffled scream and startled him into losing his grip on her.
She scrambled beneath his arm and ran to the opposite side of a table in the center of the room. When she bent to escape him her cap fell to the floor and her long black tresses fell freely to just beyond her shoulders. He crossed the room in a flash and had a hold of her in one fell swoop.
"Awe don't you worry ya pretty head none, lass. I ain't gonna take ya here and now. No, I got plans for ya when we get ta port in New England. All I want 'tis but a little taste of ya now and then."

He covered her mouth with his, in one sinuous movement, forcing his tongue deep withn her mouth, while cupping her breasts in his hands and crushing her between himself and the cabin wall. She fought him with everything she had but it was for naught. The quartermaster was too strong for her diminutive frame. She could not fight him off. He forced his reach down the front of her trousers and slipped his fingers into her velvety sheath.
With a muffled cry, she begged him to stop. "Please don't. I beg of you Mr. Kilern."

Her pleas fell upon deaf ears. He continued onward. When Kilern tried to penetrate her with his encrusted fingers he encountered a familiar tightness and suddenly he realized what he actually had, right there, in his hand. He pulled back from her and looked into her eyes. With utter astonishment in his voice he exclaimed, “You’re a virgin! I've found me a bluddee pot o' gold, I have!” He ceased his advance.

He leaned himself back against the table and let loose a most evil and insidious laughter that resonated the sound of lunacy within her ears. Then with a wide and malevolent grin spread across his sickenly repulsive face he said, "I'm gonna sell ya ta the highest bidder when we get ta port. Some rich gov’ll pay a lot o' money ta have ya for the first time. And after that I'll sell ya ta some bawdy house in Boston. Yes m’am, I'm gonna be a rich man. No more traipsin' across the ocean ta make my way in life."
Kilern broke from his trance and snapped his orders at her.
"Fix yourself girl, I don't want the Cap'n gettin' suspicious that ya been gone too long."
With tears in her eyes and fury within her heart she spat back her venomous threats at him.
"I'll make certain Godsey knows of this violation of me. You'll be sorry, for sure."
He let forth a snort of laughter at her weak attempts to avenge her pride. "No ya won't, girl. Ya see if ya say a word of this ta anyone, the Cap'n’ll find out and he'll give Godsey the lash for sneakin' ya aboard and so shall you get the same, maybe worse. Why, Cap'n Hargendon might just make ya swing from the yardarm or throw ya overboard. No you won't tell. You'll keep my secret and I'll keep yours, heh, heh, heh". He opened the cabin door, gave her a sinister wink, tipped his cap to her in sarcasm and then closed the door behind him.

Maura quickly put herself back together, then got herself to the galley and retrieved the Captain’s evening meal. When she finally returned to the cabin she discovered that Daniel had gone. This was a welcome relief, she thought. It gave her a little more time to safeguard her disguise.

With her head held high she went directly to her usual duties of rolling in the great copper tub, as she had been doing for weeks. She began boiling the kettles for Daniel's bath and wished that she could sink into the water and wash off the vile mauls of that pig, Kilern. Oh how she would scrub and scrub until her skin fell off. Even then she probably never would be able to get over being touched in such a way as that.

Just as she had finished her tasks she could sense the heavy footfalls of agitation as the cabin door swung open and Daniel entered in a hurried and perturbed manner, slamming the portal door behind him.
"Where in hell's name did ya go, boy. I sent ya to the galley a half an hour ago! Doddlin’ were ya? I knew I was being too lenient with ya. Well, is my meal here!?" He barked at her.

Maura could not speak for fear of giving away what had transpired between herself and quartermaster. She simply motioned to the table where he then noticed that the table was nicely set for dinner with candles lit and also that the tub was already in the cabin awaiting the warming kettles.
Quietly he sat down and began to pick away at the plate of seasoned meats and yams.
Maura poured him a tankard of ale from the pitcher brought up from the galley then silently retreated to her side of the cabin to sit atop her bunk and await the next sequence of orders.

It did not go unnoticed by Daniel that Maura’s plate of food sat in front of her growing cold. The thick gravy congealed atop the meat. She turned her head away from the plate for she could not eat a thing. She kept rolling over, in her mind, the events that had taken place between herself and the quartermaster.

She could still smell his disgusting breath and taste the vile tang of stale brandy along the insides of her mouth, not to mention feeling his fingers crawling inside of her most private area.
Maura began to shudder at her own thoughts of disgust for Kilern, and for a brief moment, hatred for her father for putting her in this predicament.
The future that awaits her in Boston is the same fate that her father had tried so desperately to protect her from. “What a waste,” she thought.
The deafening silence between the two was about to drive Daniel mad. Usually he welcomed the quiet solitude of his cabin, but knowing someone was across the room made him feel an obligation to converse.
"Ya really should eat, boy. Ya won't be able ta keep up with ya duties if ya let yourself get too much more skinnier than ya are." He spoke, never looking in her direction. She remained silent.
He lifted the tankard to his lips and looked up at her over the rim. Still believing that he was looking at a male he had to shake his head profusely to stop feeling as though he needed to console his cabin boy.

For complete loss of words he tried to think of something to say that would not sound berating or trite. Then he remembered the chess board that she had set up. He remarked. "Do ya play much chess when at home?" Hoping that this would break the dead silence in the room.

Maura looked up and half smiled. "Yes, I'm very fond o’ the game, sir." She responded in her deepest male voice. "I used ta play every evenin’ with my father, after dinner."
"Are ya any good, then?" Daniel remarked sarcastically.
"I think so. I've been playin’ since the age of eight summers." She straightened her back and answered in a proud voice.

"What did ya father do for a livin?'" speaking of her father in the past tense, as if he were no longer living.
Maura swallowed against his words but guessed that she'd have to get used to speaking of him in those terms, for one day he would be gone from this earth.

"He was a longshoreman. Like yourself, sir.” She answered with an aire of pride.

"And he never took ya with him on board any ships?" He remarked with a hint of astonishment in his voice. "Seems odd that he did not. Why, my father started takin' me aboard when I was much younger than you, boy. Most fathers want their sons ta be strappin' lads, rough around the edges. You're much too frail ta be the son of a longshoreman.” He continued to interrogate her in a cool insulting manner.
"You must have spent ya time in the classroom of a school house, whereas I've spent mine in the classroom of the sea. He continued on with an oddly easy flow to his conversation. “Sure I went ta grade school. I read and write and such but, only what I needed ta make my way in the business world o’ tradin’ goods." He chugged more ale and then sat staring at Maura, who was intently hanging onto every word that graced his thoroughly masculine mouth.
Maura caught herself and nervously stood to clear the table.
There was another long silence as Maura busied herself pouring the hot kettles into the tub to ready the water for Daniel's bath.

"After my bath would ya like to show me just how good ya really are?” He flashed his gorgeous smile in her direction.
Stunned, Maura stopped her flurry of activity and nervously shifted her eyes in his direction.
“At chess, at chess." Daniel became uncharacteristically embarrassed at his mistaken play on words.

“I would welcome the diversion, sir." smiling ever so nervously, as she turned her back to him.
Daniel had not a clue, of course, what she needed diversion from. Maura knew that she was safe from the likes of Kilern, at least while in the confines of Daniel's cabin. So she decided that she would not allow herself to think upon him for the rest of the night.

After clearing the table of the evening meal, Maura assisted Daniel with his usual evening soak. She would add kettles of steaming water into the copper tub, as the waters began to cool.
In between fillings she'd retreat back to her corner of the cabin and await his requests.
The first time she saw him unclothed from the back, she was most embarrassed. Her cheeks became heated immediately and she'd turn her eyes away in shame of herself for wanting to look upon him. But as the weeks passed, she had gotten used to his after dinner routine and no longer felt shame.
She has come to liken her feelings to that of looking upon a great work of art. She recalls studying Greek art and mythology, when away at school, and that is exactly what Daniel's body type reminded her of...A Greek God.
He was beautiful to her. The muscles in his back were finely honed from years of hard labor and the rising steam from the water running off of his muscular upper arms as he wrung out the wash cloth and let the streams cascade down his back captivated her attention.
Its uninterrupted surge resembled that of a beautiful waterfall that flows into varying smaller rivulets. The water appeared to glisten off of his chest in the candlelight.

When he is just about through, he likes to have one more kettle of hot water added, so he can relax with a flask of brandy. He has many flavors in the cabinet above his desk. His favorite, though, is apricot brandy. Maura brings it, now, without even having to ask which he'd prefer.

"Well if we're ta play a game of chess, I'd best get my arse out of this damn row boat, eh?" He said while rising out of the tub. The steam was ascending off of every muscle in view, even his most private appendage. This time she did not turn her eyes away. She forced herself to look upon him as she came towards him with the large flannel bath sheet, and wrapped it around his lower body. She raised her eyes up slightly, and noticed the succulence still upon his chest and longed to pat it dry.

Maura could not believe the stirring that was taking place deep within her, especially in light of today's events with Kilern.
The last thing that she ever expected to welcome was the touch of any man. She did, though. She wanted to feel the gentle caresses of this man.

It was the oddest of feelings but she felt the impious stirrings of a shameless immoral, longing to touch and be touched by this man.
She was not knowing how to justify her own thoughts of lust, but
Some how she knew he was a good man, a kind and trustworthy man, and if she were his, he would fight to the death for her.

But this is not to be, for she started out lying to him and he hates liars. He'd never believe that she had to lie to save herself. He had made mention many times of the trickery of women. Presently the principle obstacle she sees is protecting poor Godsey from the lash. If Daniel were to find out her secret then Godsey would be in grave danger. If for just her own skin she'd gladly tell and take her chances with the Captain's anger, but not Godsey. The Captain would have to make an example of him. She just could not chance hurting Godsey, after he'd been so kind to her.

With artless approach, both stood at opposite sides of the table, with only the chess board between them. They sat quietly facing one another.

Daniel broke the silence by asking, “Which would ya like to be, lad, pewter or black iron? I'll even grant ya the first move." He said with a sly look upon his face.
Maura knew that deception. Her father used to play that game with her. That's how he'd figure out her strategy.
"That be fine with me if ya went first ya self Cap'n." Giving him a wink of her eye and a tug on her cap.

"Ah, finally, a formidable opponent." His beautiful white teeth flashed against his tanned skin in the firelight. Why, that sight and his thick Irish burr almost took the very breath from her chest.
The match lasted longer than he had imagined it would and he realized that the clock on the sill was striking nearly twenty-one bells.

"We'll have ta leave this board set up and finish on the ‘morrow’s eventide."
Daniel stretched out his arms and clasped his hands behind his head making his chest and biceps flex out to an extreme measure. He leaned back in his chair and try as she may, Maura could not take her eyes from him. He noticed, as well. But for some reason he didn't feel as he had earlier, with frustration and confusion. He felt at peace.
To break yet another awkward silence between them, he extended his hand and said "Well lad ‘tis late. We should try ta get some sleep."
Maura also extended her hand to him as two mates would do when parting for the night.
As soon as their hands touched, a great reverberance of cannon fire erupted, violently casting them atop one another.
The immediate heat between them as their limbs became intertwined was immeasurable. Maura could feel Daniel’s arousal against her junction even through the thick wool of his trousers. She rolled away from him as if she were set afire.
Daniel was more confused than ever at his physical response to their entanglement.
The violent banging at the cabin door snapped him back into the reality of danger that was encompassing his ship and crew.
Godsey’s persistent, penetrating shouts could be heard over continued cannon fire. "Captain, Captain we need ya topside! Quick, sir, we're under attack!"

As was common, part of the draw to the sea was also the dangers that came along with sailing with cargo."Come, boy, ‘tis time ya learned how ta fight off thieves of the sea."
Maura could see the exuberance in his eyes, hear the excitement in his voice as he spoke of the impending victory of battle.

Maura was witnessing the visceral exhilaration of a warrior. This thoroughly invigorated her own spirit for adventure and she followed him without forethought for her own safety.
Daniel grabbed his leather duster and his pistols from the steamer trunk at the end of his bunk, and handed a pistol to Maura.

"Make certain that my pistols are reloaded promptly. Do ya know how to load a pistol, lad?" As if he expected to hear no.
"Yes Cap'n, I do. I hunted with my father, daily. I've never been ta battle but I do know my way around firearms!" She stated proudly.

It was complete mayhem on deck. The cannons from the enemy ship were luckily falling miserably short of their target, so they were missing the Arabella by half. There was still plenty of time to get the best of the blackhearts from the enemy ship, the Mephistopheles, a Norman vessel bent on pirating for their wealth. Daniel had done battle a few times with this band of pirates, and so far they've not gotten the best of him or his crew.
Daniel was shouting out orders to his men that Maura did not quite understand, but she just hung close to him and did as he instructed.
Daniel ordered the ship to come about and hide in the fog where the Mephistopheles could no longer get their sites upon them and remain as quiet as possible until the Captain gave orders otherwise. All torches were ordered doused.
It was so quiet all that could be heard was the water lapping off of the sides of the ship’s hull and so too could Daniel hear the whispers of the men on the enemy ship.

Daniel knew exactly where they were and when to attack. Quite suddenly the quiet calm had broken into complete bedlam, once more.
Daniel and his men had gotten close enough to the Mephistopheles to jump onboard and do battle on their ship, so as not to do damage to his own vessel.
Maura watched in complete shock and horror. What if he doesn't come back? What if he's killed?
Her thoughts were running wild inside her head, amidst all the gunfire, shouting, and bloodletting that was taking place right before her eyes.

Just then a muscular forearm came from behind and wrapped about her shoulders, just below her chin pulling her back into the shadows as gunfire continued to erupt around them.
She felt the wet tongue of her molester on her neck. His other hand had swiftly found its way to the outside of her trousers, and was groping her between her legs.
She could feel the vulgar bulging mass pressing against her buttocks, and that deep and familiar voice croaked heavily into her ear. "Don't ya be worryin’, lass, I won't let anythin’ happen ta my pot o' gold, ha, ha.” Then he thrust himself hard up against her backside.

Maura did not know where her strength came from but she jerked her body away from Kilern, with every bit of strength that she could muster and she faced him squarely with both hands on the barrel of her firearm.
"You stay away Kilern or I swear ta ya I'll blow yer arse ta kingdom come. You get my meanin'?"
Kilern backed away from Maura slowly, never taking his eyes from her.
There was a fire, there, in her eyes that told him that she was dead serious.
"My, my lass, why, ya've learned some colorful language, bunkin' with the Cap’n, haven’t ya?” Trying to throw her off guard with his comments.
Her eyes were cold and her voice was cutting, as she tried to fend him off.
"I don't want ta be taken a killin' ta my grave, but I swear ta ya I will shoot ya dead, Kilern. I will!"
Her hands were shaking violently, as she held the Captain's pistol straight on him, hand over hand and elbows locked tight with the barrel just inches from his chest.

"There, there, gel. I was just havin' a bit o' fun with ya. Don't ya be losin' ya pretty head." he said nervously with beads of sweat forming at his brow.
"A nice little gel like ya self would not really shoot an old man, now, would ya?" Kilern backed off not waiting for an answer to that question and then ran to the other end of the ship to await orders.

Maura breathed a great sigh of relief and fell back against the siderail of the Arabella. Her skin moist from the shock of anxiety. Her head lolled a bit back over the rail and she was revived and refreshed by the mist of seaspray. She now understood the thrill of a warrior, for she had won her own battle that day.
Once composed she tucked the pistol back into her trousers.
She'd keep it handy for the next time that Kilern tried to assault her. She figured he'd more than likely keep the secret, at least until they made port at Shawmut Peninsula in New England. By then, she may be able to escape the ship.
Godsey had confided to her that this would be his last voyage and he'd be staying in New England, so hopefully he'd be able to escape the lash for sneakin' her aboard. At any rate she felt somewhat empowered by having the pistol for protection.

Maura's attention turned towards the bow of the ship where she eyed Daniel climbing back up over the rail.
She was greatly relieved to know that he was safe. He had a few scrapes and bumps but was not shot.
The Norman ship was secured. Prisoners were held below the deck of their own ship with some of Daniels men standing watch until a military ship should pass through these waters within a few days, at which time he'd turn the thieves over to them to stand trial.
This would put them behind schedule. Daniel hated the thought of that, but it could not be helped. He did his duty in securing his cargo and the safety of his men, with not so much as one death in the firefight.

Daniel's attention was strangely focused on checking up on his cabin boy's whereabouts. He tried not to look too concerned, after all he is “just a cabin boy, for God sakes,” he told himself. But he did find himself feeling greatly relieved when he caught sight of him at midship, standing beside Godsey.

The next morning was a difficult one for the entire crew without much sleep, but everyone was up at the usual hour managing their assigned duties.
There was plenty of yawning in the galley the next morning, as Maura was sent to fetch breakfast.
When she returned to the cabin Daniel had already disappeared topside to get a better accounting of the damages to his own vessel. There would be more than a few repairs to be done. He assigned tasks to the appropriate crew members and headed back to his cabin to update his log.
While Daniel was up on deck Maura felt it the perfect opportunity to unravel her bindings to give her breasts a well needed break from their bondage. When the last binding was finally unraveled she took in a deep breath and massaged the skin of her breasts in hopes of bringing circulation back to them. She was thoroughly enjoying the sensation that the freedom from her bindings was providing at that moment.
Then she took some of the hot water from the kettle and poured it into the pitcher on the stand, next to the woodstove.

She rummaged through the satchel that she had brought from home and found some rose scented soap. “It wouldn't hurt to use just a little.” She reasoned with herself. She was beginning to feel as though she reeked of odor and could not stand another moment of being dirty and sweaty.
She poured the water from the pitcher into the bowl that was beside it on the stand. Then she freely splashed the water to her face. The feel of the hot water on her skin felt heavenly. She scrubbed her face of the smudges that she was forced to paint on daily, to hide her identity. Then she scrubbed her arms and underarms with the rose scented soap. The splashing of the water to her body blocked out the sound of the creaking door hinges. She did not hear the cabin door open. But she certainly heard it slam, with a mighty thud that nearly rocked her off of her feet. She knew that she had been caught.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Okay so I totally rewrote chapter 4 and I'm lovin' it! I hope you will too.

Chapter four

The days turned into weeks and Maura was amazed at just how swiftly she gained the ways of the maritime. Each night she fell exhausted into her bunk. Every so often she'd stop and wonder how her father was faring the harsh winter without her and if his health were worsening. She couldn't dwell on those thoughts too long for she'd never make it through. She promised herself that after she were settled, she'd write and send for him.

She marked the calendar each day to reinforce to herself that time was passing and that before too long she'd be on dry land again. The first couple of weeks were spent getting her sea legs, as Godsey had remarked to her. The Captain took notice and was most kind in letting him get used to seafaring ways, knowing that he had never sailed before.

This particular Saturday afternoon had been a rainy day at sea. The men took turns topside, as did their Captain. He never asked anything of his men that he would not do himself. Maura respected that about Daniel.
She therefore made sure that his quarters were warm and clean and that his meal was hot and waiting for him when he returned to his cabin in the evenings.

While she was cleaning Daniel’s desk, as was part of her usual daily duties, his quill pen floated off of the escritoire and rested upon a dark cloth bag beneath his bunk.
She got down on her hands and knees and crawled halfway beneath the bunk. She could feel a large heavy wooden object.
She struggled to pull its awkward shape towards her and discovered that it was an intricately hand carved oak chessboard and on top lay a lush emerald green velvet satchel. Maura laced her slender fingers within the vined rope string and pulled gently until the satchel fell open.
Maura gave a persistent jiggle of the bag, pouring its contents into her hand. Her hazel eyes beamed with delight at the sight of the most beautiful pewter and black iron bejeweled chess pieces. She was in complete awe of their beauty.
With great effort she brought the game board and pieces to the table, next to the woodstove. She set it up as if to play.
Maura’s attention turned toward the cabin door as she was immediately put on alert by the creaking of swollen planks and heavy footfalls. Her thick lashes swept toward the portal entry as Daniel entered.

He shot her a glare look as he noticed straight away, the chessboard set up on the table. "I see you've been cleaning under my bunk." He raised a disapproving eyebrow in her direction.
He turned his back to her and began to untie the laces on his shirt. The linen garment was no longer a dense white but was opaque and transparent from the driving rains.
Maura’s breathing accelerated at the sight of him as she was experiencing envy for a mere piece of cloth as it clung to his chiseled form. She caught herself and just as quickly looked away as he peeled away the garment that served as his second skin. He quickly donned a dry shirt and came to stand by her at the stove.
A loud clap and the rough abrade of calloused skin briskly rubbing together caused Maura to whince and shrink away from Daniel. This response to his nearness did not escape him.

Maura thought to speak to distract him. She nervously tried to defend what she thought was an intrusion of his private property.
"Well ya see sir, I was tidyin' the desk area and a rather strong burst of wind from the open pane blew your quill pen under the bunk and, well, I just went to retrieve it and came upon the chess set." Maura spoke so swiftly that all of her words became one muddled sentence.

"Was it alright to take it from its hiding place, cap'n?" sounding a bit as though she may have done something wrong.
"Don't be stupid, boy. Of course it's alright." He shouted in frustration, throwing his hand in the air. "I couldna care less about the confounded chess set."

Maura had no clue why Daniel would have been so short with her… but Daniel did.
For the past week he had not been sleeping very well.
He kept awakening to the same frustrating dream that he had experienced on the night before the Arabella had left port. Waking, with tears in his eyes and shaking. He was also quite confused about his attentions to this cabin boy. A boy is a boy. Never had he been so over protective or overly generous with any male with regards to getting used to the ways of the sea.
It would have been, C'mon lad, pull ya self up by ya bootstraps and be done with it! No, it was more than just being Jeannie's nephew. Of that he was certain, but could not place his finger on what was different.
Another disturbing fact was that he kept thinking that he could smell a female about. Was he going mad? He silently questioned his sanity. “I am out to sea but a few weeks and already the omnipresence of women was thus insistent?” That usually did not occur until more than half way through a trip.
“Am I becoming a buggerer of boys?” This could not be. He was certain that he still lusted after the fairer sexes, which is why he keeps any and all sensual reading materials away from himself and his men during any long journey.
Daniel placed his head in his hands, rubbing his face in frustration.
Maura instinctively places her hand upon his shoulder in an attempt to comfort him, though not understanding her own motives.

Daniel straightened his back against her touch and then let fly an earpiercing shout in her direction.
"What the hell do ya do that for, boy!? Is it ya way ta be puttin' ya hands on every male that be within two feet o’ ya!?"
Maura jumped back and snatched her hand away from his shoulder as if she had just been burned by fire.
"N-no, Cap'n", she stammered. The thing that he hated the most was nervous stammering. He glared at her with a contemptuous look.
"I, I was just wantin' ta try and make ya feel better if ya was sick… with a headache, ‘tis all". Maura had forgotten her self for just a moment and her voice was far too feminine for both their liking.
"Off with ya now, boy, and fetch the evening meal. I'd like ta get it done, have my bath and get ta bed early. We'll have a long days work ahead of us in the mornin'. Tis time that ya started ta earn ya keep 'round here. No more makin' ya out to be the helpless lass."

Maura immediately became furious, within, and began to seethe as if she were embers in the woodstove. “Ooo that man! Helpless lass, indeed”.
“Why, she thought, I’ll show him I am not helpless if it is the last thing I do on this trip. Mark my words!”

With her jaw hardened and her fists clenched Maura stormed out of the cabin, slamming the door behind her, leaving Daniel feeling as though he'd just had a raging argument with a hot headed female.
Stunned, he breathed in an aire of shock, shook his head and asked himself, “Am I going insensible?” Again, that feeling of being around a woman, he could not shake.